ALBUM: Bring Me The Horizon – Sempiternal

Release Date: April 1st, 2013
Label: RCA Records


For all of their many detractors, there’s certainly no denying Bring Me The Horizon‘s ambition. From their questionable deathcore roots, the band’s output has been on a trajectory which can only be described as stratospheric, with their ever increasing popularity never proving to diminish a willingness to plunge headlong into experimentation. ‘Sempiternal’ takes this adventurous streak to the nth degree, with the constantly expanding electronica the Sheffield quintet have embraced taking a hugely successful precedent, occasionally seeing the sound transcend any modern notion of ‘heavy’ music.

Indeed, it’s immediately apparent from opener ‘Can You Feel My Heart’ that Bring Me The Horizon have made some rather drastic curve balls here, and they all work spectacularly. Tracks such as the aforementioned opener and a shimmering ‘And The Snakes Start To Sing’ take a slow burning approach which marry a beautifully stark vulnerability with understated instrumentation and some undeniably towering chorus hooks.

For all the glistening production trickery and electronic touches however, the songwriting here is of course the crucial factor in what could see ‘Sempiternal’ labelled as a game changer in the very near future. Injecting a healthy dose of melody into proceedings, frontman Oli Sykes turns in a performance which is revelatory in its poignancy. The mammoth sing alongs present in lead singles ‘Shadow Moses’ and ‘Sleepwalking’ are both as heart-wrenching as they are fist pumping, with a soaring grit on delivery which cannot fail to rouse with its emotional intensity.

Those looking for a full throttle release will undoubtedly be left dissapointed, yet there’s certainly more than enough signature bounce here to sate appetites, especially with the venomous ‘Antivist’ launching at us with some neck snapping groove and titanic gang vocals and ‘House Of Wolves’ weaving some heaving breakdowns and lurching riff work between the ethereal ambience.

‘Sempiternal’ may be the band’s most accessible work to date, yet this is perhaps what makes it such a wholly affecting release. Any knuckle draggers which scoff at what is deemed a crippling loss of aggression are entirely missing the staggering ’emotional’ heaviousity, a personal resonance which positively bleeds from every hook. ‘Sempiternal’ is as anthemic and stirring as any album we will hear in 2013, and, unless something unfathomably special is in the pipeline, will be the jewel in the Bring Me The Horizon crown for years to come.

Written by Tony Bliss